How To Remove Urine and Feces Stains From Vinyl Flooring

Karen asks: We have vinyl tile in our bathroom. A family member struggles with incontinence at times, and there is a dark brown stain around the toilet. I think if may be due to urine/feces being on the floor. Is there any way to remove the stain without damaging the tile? The rest of the floor is fine; it’s this one area that is the problem.

Incontinence can be an intensely embarrassing issue to deal with. Those who suffer with it may feel shame and discomfort at the thought of it, and when it actually occurs it can be a true nightmare for them. Leaving “evidence” of the problem is something everyone would surely like to avoid, though unfortunately vinyl flooring (also called linoleum) can be a magnet for this type of stain.

You Will Need 

  • Rubber Gloves
  • Paper Towels
  • Broom
  • Vinegar, 1 cup
  • 1 Gallon bucket
  • Liquid Dish Washing Detergent, 2 tsp.
  • Warm Water
  • Long Spoon
  • Brush with soft bristles
  • Abrasive Sponge
  • Multiple Washcloths
  • Rubbing Alcohol
  • Baking Soda


  1. Wearing the rubber gloves, pick up any excess urine and feces with the paper towels and dispose of properly. The gloves will help to protect against bacteria.
  2. Sweep the area with the broom to rid it of any excess dirt and dust. This will ensure you have the most direct access to any stains.
  3. Mix together the cup of vinegar, the dish washing detergent, and warm water in a bucket. Stir with the long spoon, and be careful not to create too many suds.
  4. Dip the soft bristled brush into the mixture, and scrub the stain. Then, rinse with clean water. If there is still a stain, use the more abrasive method described next.
  5. Mix equal parts water and baking soda to create a paste. Spread the paste over the stained area and allow to set for 10 to 15 minutes. Scrub with the abrasive sponge, then wipe clean with a dry cloth. Finally, scrub the area with a clean cloth soaked in rubbing alcohol.

Additional Tips and Advice

  • Remove the stain as soon as possible, as letting it sit for too long may ruin your floor.
  • Just for the sake of clarity, never mix bleach and vinegar. Using bleach on your floor is OK, but be sure to NOT add vinegar, as it will create a chlorine gas.


  1. Donna says:

    Use your toilet bowl cleaner to remove these stains. Be sure to use gloves and rinse immediately.

  2. Mat says:

    Adding to your problems, if the stain is directly against the base of the toilet, the stain may be caused by a deteriorating wax ring. Your toilet sits on this ring, which seals the toilet to the large drain pipe beneath it. Sometimes, as this ring ages, it will start to deteriorate and if someone (especially a heavy someone) should sit on the toilet, it may leak. Unless you are handier than usual, this is a job for a plumber.

  3. Annette says:

    I recently painted my kitchen table and then applied epoxy. Now, everything that spills stains and I can’t get it out; I’ve tried almost everything.

  4. Barbara says:

    So much work for such a unsatisfactory result. Epoxy isn’t the finish for a refinished table, especially a dining table or one that’s used often – like a coffee table. Crystal clear polyurethane (sold as water-based polyurethane) or clear Varathane are heat and water resistant, which would give a better result. Unfortunately, sanding epoxy only compounds the problem. Try sanding down to the painted surface, wipe with a clean damp cloth (let dry), then add another top-coat of paint and let dry thoroughly. Then, seal it with a water-based polyurethane top coat. Let dry thoroughly, then apply another coat. Repeat for more protection. Good luck.

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